Redemption. It’s a wonderful thing. We love seeing it in the movies, don’t we? The happy ending to the otherwise desperate story.
But when it comes to our own redemption, we struggle. Thinking that we don’t deserve it and sometimes even sabotaging ourselves. I can think of a number of times I’ve thought, What have I just done? And being determined there is no way to come back from it.
Ugh. It’s such a terrible feeling.
The deep pit in my stomach, heavy with regret. The sudden onset of despair. Realizing the consequences of my poor decision. Maybe you know what I’m talking about.
I know Eve must have.
Admitting Our Mistakes
I wonder how exactly it went down when she and Adam ate the fruit and no longer felt “naked and unashamed.” She looked at Adam standing there in all his glory, then realizing she was standing there in all her glory, too. And the only thing they could find to use as a cover-up were some fig leaves. Thank goodness it wasn’t poison ivy. Yikes!
And then along came God, calling out to Adam,”Where are you?” God asked (Genesis 3:9 KJV).
“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Then God asked, ‘How do you know you are naked? Have you eaten from the tree I told you not to eat from?”
Avoiding the Blame Game
And then the Blame Game begins. Adam blames Eve (and God).
Check this out. He says, “The woman you put here with me – she gave me some of the fruit from the tree, and I ate it.” (emphasis mine) (Genesis 3:12). Talk about emotional manipulation! He’s basically telling God (the Creator of the Universe), “Hey God, it was her fault. But, if you hadn’t put her here none of this would happen.” What a turd move.
But then Eve quickly chimes in, having been thrown under the bus, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen 3:13)
Accepting the Consequences
And then the consequences are dished out. The serpent (and all its kind) receives the consequence first for deceiving Eve – cursed to slither on its belly forever and be an enemy of man. Then, Eve – severe pain in childbearing and painful labor, along with a husband who would rule over her while she has a strong desire for him. Finally, Adam – sweating and toiling the land. Eating his food by the sweat of his brow. Then, they are cast out of the Garden of Eden. No more paradise for them. Talk about a bad day.
The one thing that is easiest to overlook in the story of Eve is her redemption. Most people (even non-believers) have a knowledge of Eve’s creation as well as what led to her downfall. But then we stop there. We don’t dig deeper to see how, even in the beginning, God was working to redeem us from our sin.
Related Post: What to Do When You Fail (and Why It Isn’t So Bad)
Six things we can learn from Eve’s situation.
1. We have the freedom to make bad choices.
The Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil wasn’t hidden away in some secret cave or on the top of a difficult mountaintop. It was right in the middle of the garden (Genesis 3:3). “‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”
God placed the tree smack dab in the middle of the garden. You may wonder why God would do that. Why put the tree in the middle of the garden? God gave us freedom from the very beginning. He does not have a desire to control us. After all, you can’t love someone and control them at the same time.
2. Freedom of Choices ≠ Freedom from Consequences.
Whether we go over budget because we are too tired to cook at home, or we have indiscretions due to loneliness. We have consequences! As Mr. B always reminds the kids, “When you say ‘yes’ to one thing, you are saying ‘no’ to another!”
If you say ‘yes’ to eating that Double Cheeseburger meal with large fries and a milkshake once a week, you are saying ‘no’ to being healthy.
If you say ‘yes’ to going out on a date night with your hubby, you are saying ‘no’ to time with your kids. This isn’t bad. You need to date your husband. This is just a simple fact. Similarly, if you say ‘yes’ to spending every day with your kids, you are saying ‘no’ to a romantic getaway with your husband. This does sound bad though. Very bad. A romantic getaway right now sounds amazing.
3. God gives us a new identity.
Remember when I said back in part 1 how Eve’s name wasn’t even Eve when she was first created? (If not, jump back to Part 1 of The Story of Eve series) Let’s take a look at the timeline.
Genesis 2:23 Adam says, “she will be called woman.”
The serpent convinces Eve that God is holding out on her. (Genesis 3:1 – 3:4)
Eve eats the fruit and gives it to her husband, who was with her. He also eats it and their eyes were opened. (Genesis 3:6 – 7)
They confess to God what they did and the blame game commences. (Genesis 3:8 – 13)
God doles out the consequences and they are banished from the garden. (Genesis 3:14 – 19)
“Adam named his wife Eve, because she would become the mother of all the living.” (Genesis 3:20)
It wasn’t until after Eve was deceived, gave the fruit to Adam and then was banished from the garden that she received the name Eve. God created her a new identity. One that is worthy of being known. Her name did not change to something awful like “gullible woman who drags everyone down with her.” She was given the name Eve, which means Mother of the Living. What a reward she is given in her consequence! He set her on a new path.
It is no small thing for God to choose us as the ones who would bring life into this world. And it is no small thing that God would choose to reward us with redemption even when we are suffering the consequences of our missteps.
4. God sacrifices to cover their sin.
In the 24 verses of chapter 3, it is easy to overlook the two verses that bring hope. We already saw that Adam named his wife Eve and in Genesis 3:21, God “made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them.” The sacrifice for sin didn’t just happen with Jesus on the cross. Even in the beginning, do you see how the OT (Old Testament) isn’t just about God’s wrath? The first story of people screwing up has the consequences and the story of sacrifice. A perfect connection to his sacrifice of his “only begotten son” (John 3:16).
5. Release Bitterness.
Eve went on to have at least 3 children. We know the story of three sons (Cain, Abel, and Seth). In Genesis 4, Eve gives birth to Cain and says, “With the help of the LORD, I have brought forth a man.” She is not quick to dismiss God even though she now lived outside of paradise. It is difficult to have bitterness toward someone and recognize their help as well.
6. Remain faithful in all circumstances.
Oftentimes, we mess up and we can circle back to having our life almost exactly as it was. Then there are times, as with Adam and Eve, where our mistakes set our lives in a completely different path for the rest of our lives. We can choose to dwell on those mistakes or we can release the bitterness of the past and remain faithful to God for the future.
Next time you think about Eve, or someone mentions her, reset your perspective. Recognize that we all have consequences, but it isn’t the end of our story. Hold onto God’s intent for your life, be faithful and focus on his blessing for joyful living. And if you need a reminder of God’s purpose for women, specifically for you, just spend some more time with the Story of Eve.
Other articles in this series: